Two of our branches, with a history of inter-Association rivalry, have booked competing barbecues on the same day. This has resulted in a bit of a frenzy. Each branch claims they had booked theirs first and are therefore refusing to cancel. As a consequence, we have a bit of a battle for the hearts and stomachs of the membership. Branch A has reduced their ticket price to appeal to those living in "times of austerity". Branch B hit back with "you clearly get what you pay for", implying anyone attending the Branch A event will be served Tesco Value burgers. I am sitting on the sidelines, refusing to get involved.
This morning, however, events took a turn for the worse.
One of the organisers of the Branch A event called the office and spoke to Jon (who as Office Manager is in charge of tickets and advertising). Jon was told, with absolute certainty, that the Branch B BBQ had been cancelled due to lack of support, and could he therefore circulate an email advising members of this and confirming that tickets were still available for the Branch A BBQ.
Jon, being a kindly and trusting soul, was just about to hit send when I intervened.
"Are you sure the Branch B event has been cancelled, Jon? I'd email and check if I were you." I said, imagining the carnage and recriminations if we had been "misinformed".
Just as well we did. Within 30 minutes of emailing Branch B to check we received this reply:
"You don't think there was a touch of espionage, do you?" "I am sure it was a genuine misunderstanding, Jon." I replied, confidently.